University of San Francisco’s Silk Speaker Series Welcomes Starbucks President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson

SAN FRANCISCO (October 7, 2019) - The University of San Francisco (USF) will host a conversation with Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks, as part of the university’s Silk Speaker Series on Wednesday, October 16 from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Johnson will discuss what it means to be a transformational leader. The event is open to the public (registration is required) and will be moderated by USF School of Management Associate Professor Sonja Martin Poole. USF alumnus Michael Johnson, sustainability professional and Kevin Johnson’s son, will serve as emcee for the program.

An ardent leader, Johnson proudly carries on the Starbucks legacy of human connection, driving the company’s core strategies for growth, and being of service to the more than 330,000 partners who wear the green apron around the world.

“Kevin Johnson seems to be the kind of leader many USF students aspire to be, given our social justice mission,” stated Poole. “Under his leadership, Starbucks is undertaking environmental and social initiatives that are innovative and impactful, and I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot from him about how we can operationalize values in corporate settings.”

Johnson first joined Starbucks in 2009, serving on the company’s board of directors during a period of record-setting transformation and growth. In March 2015, he took on the role of president and chief operating officer, leading the company’s global operating businesses across all geographies, as well as the core support functions of Starbucks supply chain, marketing, human resources, technology and mobile and digital platforms. Johnson assumed the role of president and CEO in April 2017, as Howard Schultz transitioned into the role of executive chairman.

Johnson was a founding board member of NPower, an organization that provides nonprofits with access to technology and the skills needed to fulfill their social missions. He is involved with Catalyst, a leading nonprofit focused on expanding opportunities for women in business. Kevin also supports Youth Eastside Services, one of the largest providers of youth and family counseling in the Seattle area.

Now in its third year, the Silk Speaker Series at USF has featured speakers including Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, tennis legend and equality champion Billie Jean King, 66th Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Former Chair of the Federal Reserve Dr. Janet L. Yellen, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Inc., among others.

Event registration info

About Moderator Sonja Martin Poole

Sonja Martin Poole is an internationally recognized lecturer and researcher on transformative and multicultural marketing strategy and marketing education. With particular emphases on creating and communicating value for nonprofit and public sector organizations and the social impact of marketing, Poole explores marketing ethics, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, diversity, education, public policy, and social welfare. As an associate professor of marketing at USF, Poole shares her expertise in behavioral economics in achieving specific social goals. Poole lectures internationally on developing marketing strategy for diverse audiences and offers public commentary on issues related to marketing and society. She is a New Orleans native and maintains an active consulting practice in Oakland, California.

About the Silk Speaker Series

Funded by a transformational gift to the University of San Francisco by investment expert Jeff Silk ’87 and his wife Naomi, the USF Silk Speaker Series brings international thought leaders in business, finance and global issues to USF’s campus. The series is designed to provide learning opportunities and discussions for USF’s students, alumni, faculty and friends of the university.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, personalized learning, and outstanding opportunities to lead and succeed in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” The Campaign for the University of San Francisco is raising $300 million through 2022 to support student scholarships and financial aid, the creation of bold and innovative programs, and the renovation of current facilities and construction of new space, all part of expanding the university’s global influence. For more information about the campaign, visit the USF Campaign Page.